Faith Leader Resources

Talking with your congregations

Religious beliefs often play a major role in the medical decisions people make. As a result, communication and cooperation between faith communities and healthcare providers is key. As part of Henry Ford Health System's involvement with "The Conversation Ready" project, recent efforts have been made to reach out to the local faith community to facilitate better discussions around end-of-life planning.

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A conversation we all need to have:

A recent survey conducted in California by the California HealthCare Foundation (2012), found that 60% of people say that making sure their family is not burdened by tough decisions is “extremely important.” But 56% of those surveyed have not communicated their end-of-life wishes to their loved ones (www.theconversationproject.org). Talking with loved ones about end-of-life wishes does not fly in the face of our faith tradition. Rather, having these conversations is a way to ensure that the traditions and rituals of our faith are honored as we make our transition from this life. Talking with loved ones about values and beliefs and what we do and do not want can make our death and dying easier on those who love us, because they can find comfort in the honoring of our wishes.

If you have not yet had the conversation with your loved ones, please consider doing so. Don’t wait, as we never know when our time on this earth will come to an end. For information on how to get started with the conversation, please visit www.theconversationproject.org.